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Tuesday 4 May 2010

Beta Blockers. A well-tolerated Big Pharma drug?

To highlight the importance of safety in medicine, I can tell my own story.

In 2007, I began to have periodic heart palpitations. Instead of going to see a homeopath, privately, which was my first intention, I went to see my GP. Well, why not, I pay for the NHS, and I am entitled to NHS treatment! I asked my GP (I had never seen him before) for homeopathic treatment, and struggled for the next 11 months to get beyond the NHS bureaucracy, and its ConMed monopoly. I was offered all kinds of tests, drugs, and consultations, but they were not prepared to offer me homeopathy. It was the usual nonsense - “there is no evidence”, etc.
Beta Blockers were the Pharma drugs on offer. Two doctors and a registrar told me that they were ‘well-tolerated', and had 'no serious side-effects'. I told them that this was nonsense, that they had serious DIEs (disease-inducing-effects), not least diabetes. On each occasion there was silence - and no explanation for this a chronic lack of honesty.
Now, Beta Blockers have been found to cause fatal heart attacks, alongside SSRI drugs like Proxac, and Cox-2 pain-killers (research conducted by University of Rochester, New York, and reported in the magazine What Doctors Don't Tell You, April 2010). So I was being offered the usual ConMed deal - swop an illness with a more serious disease, and perhaps even death. 
What concerns me is that whilst the NHS were not honest about drug DIEs, there were other DIEs that were unknown at the time - remember, Beta Blockers have been around since the early 1960's. I will leave you to decide which is worse - that they know about DIEs and don’t tell you; or they don’t know or understand the workings of their own drugs after several decades!
Fortunately, I won my battle with my PCT , went to see a homeopath at the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital, and I no longer have heart palpitations.